Pat's Answer

I just need some advice on substance use

Your Question

Hey Alex! I just need some advice on substance abuse. Honestly, I’ve been pretty sheltered from stuff like that my whole life, but when secondary school hit, all of a sudden all my friends were vaping, smoking, doing weed, having dealers, etc etc. Originlly I was kind of like, ”Hey, okay they can do what they want, I just don’t want to”. NOne of them have ever pressured me into doing anything, they don’t make it out to be a big deal anyore like they did in first yer and thought they were cool or whatever, but now my thought process has gone from ‘i wont corrupt my body’ to ‘but what if I…’. It’s not realy a peer pressur ething, it’s just I’ve been really stressed lately, and I kind of want a get away. Therapy and loads of organisationstress coping methods aren’t working for me, and it’s become pretty normalised now. I’ve done my research, and I know weed is illegal, but it’s just getting harder to stop myself from just letting loose and going with it. I’ve looked into side affects, and honestly none of them are having me go ”huh maybe not” cos none of them seem that bad. I wouldn’t smoke as I’ve seen the results of lung problems in my family, but weed and vape seem pretty alluring right now. The worst that could happen is I become addicted, but it’s not like I would wnat to keep doing it, just more of a get away every now and then. Is there a way I can stop myself from trying to glorify this, should I just try it and see what the fuss is about, or is it as bad as the ublic make it all out to be? Just a little vape, or a little weed, and see what happens? 

Answer

Hi, you’re very welcome to Ask Alex. Thanks for reaching out and sharing with us what’s on your mind. 

It sounds like you’re going through a lot at the moment and are unsure whether or not to explore drug taking. You also asked whether there was a way for you to stop glorifying drugs and it seems you are mainly looking for advise on substance use and abuse in general.  

First of all, well done for taking the time to send in this question. You’ve clearly put a lot of thought into the topic. Talking about drugs and their effects can be a hard thing to do and we appreciate you trusting us with your thoughts. You mentioned that at first, your views around drugs were to stay away from them. It seems like, over time and being around friends who do take them has changed your attitude and feelings towards it. It’s quite normal to want to know more about these things now that you are exposed to them. Feelings of stress and wanting to escape can add to the pressure people feel to take up vaping, smoking and other drugs. It sounds like therapy and the advice you’ve received so far hasn’t worked for you. We’re sorry to hear that and would be concerned to hear that you are considering taking up drugs to cope.  

Some of the ways you can decide whether drugs are bad and how not to glorify them can be to learn more about them and their effects. You have the right to get help and advice around this. If the services you’ve interacted with didn’t suit your needs, perhaps talking to a trusted adult might help? This could be a parent, caregiver, aunt/uncle, grandparent, older sibling or teacher. Although vaping and cigarettes are not illegal in Ireland, the legal age for buying these products in Ireland is 18 years old. As you know, cannabis or weed is illegal in Ireland for recreational purposes. You have done a great job at researching this topic already. If you haven’t before, you could also check out the Childline website which has a bit more information on addiction and how it affects us: https://www.childline.ie/drugs-alcohol-and-smoking/Yourmental.ie and Drugs.ie. might also help explain what you’re going through and offers information and facts around drugs.    

It is important to remember you are not alone in this. Childline is always here to listen when you need to talk about whatever is on your mind. If you ever feel like chatting to us, you are welcome to call anytime on 1800 66 66 66 or you can use Childline’s text service by texting 50101 or to contact us online visit www.chidline.ie and you can register there to chat with us. All these services are free, available 24 hours a day and are confidential and non-judgmental.  

We hope you find some of this information helpful. If you need to talk, we’ll be there to listen. 

Take Care,  

Alex 

Ask me a question

You can ask me about anything you want, there’s nothing too big or small.